Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has been rushed to hospital after touching down in Indonesia for the G20 summit.
Local officials said Lavrov was receiving treatment for a heart condition in a shock development which comes just hours before the Kremlin official was due to be confronted by world leaders over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
It is thought he was released from medical care at the Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar shortly afterwards, after three medical and governmental figures confirmed Lavrov was being treated in Bali.
However, the news has been dismissed by the Kremlin as a “fake” report about the country’s most recognisable figure at the world summit.
Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, said of the report: “This, of course, is the height of fakery.”
Wayan Koster, the governor of Bali, said Lavrov was “immediately returned” after entering the facility for a “check-up”.
Lavrov has been serving as Moscow’s foreign minister since 2004, and is a loyal ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He was understood to be Putin’s replacement at the summit, which begins on Tuesday.
The world’s leaders are gathering in Bali, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, US President Joe Biden, and Chinese premier Xi Jinping.
Mr Sunak, who arrived in Bali early this morning, called Russia a “rogue state”, adding Putin’s seat will “remain vacant”.
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Ahead of the trip, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We will absolutely use every opportunity to confront Russia about their continued illegal actions.
“We… will speak with our allies in one voice on this.”
Mr Sunak, describing his “five-point” agenda for the G20 summit, said he would demand “coordinated global action” to prevent Moscow “trying to asphyxiate the global economy”.
He promised to address Russia’s “weaponisation of food”, look to moving away from energy dependency on Moscow, and ensure adequate support for Ukrainian forces.
The two-day summit, starting on Tuesday, will see President Biden meet with Chinese leader Xi for the first time since he entered the White House almost two years ago.
Sino-US relations have become increasingly strained, including over Taiwan, which some experts have speculated could be a target for Beijing following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.